Wining & Dining
5 Secrets to Grilling the Best Burger
7/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Best Burger

July is National Grilling Month, and hamburgers are finding their way onto grills all over Southwest Louisiana! However, the simple acts of picking a meat, choosing a grilling method, and mixing ingredients can all contribute to radically different flavors. For best results, keep these tips in mind.

1. Picking the Right Meat is Essential - If you want to grill a juicy, flavorful burger, skip the lean meat and go for the ground chuck. A little extra fat adds flavor. Specifically, opt for ground chuck or ground sirloin with at least 18% fat. Fat helps lock in the flavor.

2. Prep Your Meat - To help your patties stay together and remain nice and juicy, you’ll need to keep them cold until you’re ready to place them on the hot grill. Mix three tablespoons of water into a pound of ground beef to increase the juiciness of grilled burgers. Then add a teaspoon each of salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce into the mix, as well.

3. Handle Your Patties With Care - Once you’ve lightly seasoned your hamburger meat, handle it delicately. Wet your hands a bit before first to keep the meat from sticking to your hands and to help it form together. When working the meat, pull it apart in small chunks to form it into patties. During cooking, the meat at the edges shrinks first, causing the center to bulge, which can give you a burger that looks more like a meatball than a patty. Pressing a slight dimple, or thumb print, into the center of each burger before cooking prevents or at least lessens the bulge.

4. Prep Your Grill – Scrub your grill before you fire it up. Any leftover debris can cause your meat to stick and alter the taste of your burgers. You should also oil your grill before you cook your patties. Preheat your grill for at least 15 minutes. Make sure the temperature is high so your burgers start sizzling as soon as they hit the grill. The intense heat of a grill creates a deeply browned crust, one of the hallmarks of a great burger. If you’re using a charcoal grill, use ash-covered coals and leave the lid up to ensure they are evenly heated. With gas grills, you’ll want to keep the lid down while you’re cooking. If you use propane and prefer a wood-smoked flavor, add chips to the grill sides before placing meat on the grill. Different types of wood offer different flavors. 

5. Cook Carefully - Once you’ve got your burgers sizzling, resist the urge to press them with a spatula as they’re cooking. Pressing causes those flavorful juices to leak out. Instead, allow the cooking process to shape your burgers. After a few minutes, you’ll start to see juices gathering at the top of your burger. This indicates that your meat has started cooking through the middle and that the juices inside have started moving to the top of the burger. When that happens, you’ll want to flip your burgers over and cook them for a few more minutes. Only flip your burgers once. Keep in mind that the juices in the patty move away from the heat while cooking, and too much flipping disrupts the juices inside the burger. While the length of time you’ll want to cook your burgers will depend on your grill and the thickness of the patties, there are a few hard and fast rules you can use. For a rare burger, cook it on each side for two minutes, three for medium-rare, four for medium and five for well-done. But again, timing may vary depending on your grill and how thick you make your burgers.

Now you can focus your attention on preparing the buns and condiments for your truly perfect burger!

Posted by: Sylvia Ney | Submit comment | Tell a friend




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